Biden to pull troops from Afghanistan, end longest US war

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday he will withdraw remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 attacks “cannot explain” why American forces should still be there 20 years after the deadliest terror assault on the United States.

His plan is to pull out all American forces — numbering 2,500 now — by this Sept. 11, the anniversary of the attacks, which were coordinated from Afghanistan.

The U.S. cannot continue to pour resources into an intractable war and expect different results, Biden said.

The drawdown would begin rather than conclude by May 1, which has been the deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year.

“It is time to end America’s longest war,” Biden said, but he added that the U.S. will “not conduct a hasty rush to the exit.”

“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said. “I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”

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